Reviews, Commentary and Opinions on Midwest Craft Beer and Microbreweries

October 5, 2011

Beer Diary:

Midwest Winners at the 2011 GABF

All the Midwest winners and one loser at this year’s Great American Beer Festival.
by Eddie Glick

I like my beer like my women: pale, strong, full-bodied, and extremely bitter.
Contact Eddie»
During the first week of October, the nexus of the beer world—if you listen to the jingoistic ballyhoos echoing across the internet—is Denver, Colorado and the Great American Beer Festival. And this year, your favorite beer snob, Eddie Glick, (that’s me!) was able to make an appearance, pasty skin and all.

My first impression was that … I wasn’t all that impressed. I can’t say that I was expecting to be blown away, but it didn’t make me ooh and ah (the Oskar Blues Silent Disco was kind of neat, if not really beer related) in the least. Although it was the largest beer festival I’ve attended, and very well run, it wasn’t much different than the Great Taste of the Midwest, other than the fact that it was indoors … and there was karaoke. Yeah, it also was a multi-day event—unlike a lot of beer fests—making it possible to actually put a dent in one’s to-try list, but only if you can afford it: $60 per five-hour session.

The feeling I got coming away from it—and afterward looking at the medal winners—is that it was more of an industry insiders’ back-patting than a general admission beer fest. For some reason I expected that all the beers being judged would be available to try at the fest by the peon attendees, but that wasn’t the case. And I’ll keep my semi-well known opinions about the whole beer judging thing to myself this year. That being said, it was, after all, a first impression, and please don’t let my small-minded comments take away from the Midwest craft brewers who scored medals over the weekend. Below is a rundown of the winners, or you can check out the complete list. Congrats!

Millstream Brewing Co., Iowa
Back Road Stout, Gold—Oatmeal Stout

Haymarket Pub & Brewery, Illinois
Angry Birds, Gold—American-Belgo-Style Ale

Two Brothers Brewing Co., Illinois
Dog Days Lager, Bronze—Dortmunder or German-Style Oktoberfest

5 Rabbit Cerveceria, Illinois
5 Lizard, Gold—Fruit Wheat Beer

Piece Brewery, Illinois
Dark-N-Curvy, Bronze—German-Style Wheat Ale

Flossmoor Station Brewing Co., Illinois
Intercontinental Pale Ale, Silver—International-Style Pale Ale

Emmett’s Brewing Co., Illinois
Where in the Helles Gunner?, Silver—Munich-Style Helles

Brugge Brasserie, Indiana
Grimalkin—Super Kitty Fantastico, Bronze—American-Style Brett Ale

Sun King Brewing Co., Indiana
Popcorn Pilsner, Silver—American-Style or International-Style Pilsener

Sun King Brewing Co., Indiana
Johan the Barleywine, Bronze—Barley Wine-Style Ale

Sun King Brewing Co., Indiana
Buffalo Slumber, Gold—Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale

Sun King Brewing Co., Indiana
Ring of Dingle, Gold—Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout

Sun King Brewing Co., Indiana
Java Mac, Gold—Coffee Beer

Sun King Brewing Co., Indiana
Wee Muckle, Gold—Scotch Ale

Sun King Brewing Co., Indiana
Wee Pogue, Silver—Wood- and Barrel-Aged Beer

Sun King Brewing Co., Indiana
BBJ (Bourbon Barrel Johan), Silver—Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer

Three Floyds Brewing Co., Indiana
Munster Fest, Silver—German-Style Märzen

Bell’s Brewery, Michigan
Expedition Stout, Gold—Aged Beer

Bastone Brewery, Michigan
Pin-Up Blonde, Bronze—Belgian- and French-Style Ale

New Holland Brewing Co., Michigan
Blue Sunday, Silver—Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale

Right Brain Brewery, Michigan
Mangalitsa Pig Porter, Gold—Experimental Beer

Redwood Brewing Co., Michigan
Cream Stout, Silver—Sweet Stout

Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery, Minnesota
LSD, Silver—Herb and Spice Beer

Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery, Minnesota
Hope and King Scotch Ale, Gold—Scottish-Style Ale

Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery, Minnesota
Eye Of The Storm, Silver—Specialty Honey Beer

Fat Head’s Brewery, Ohio
Head Hunter IPA, Bronze—American-Style India Pale Ale

Fat Head’s Brewery, Ohio
Battle Axe Baltic Porter, Gold—Baltic-Style Porter

Hoppin’ Frog Brewing Co., Ohio
BORIS The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout, Gold—Imperial Stout

Hoppin’ Frog Brewing Co., Ohio
Barrel Aged Naked Evil BBW, Bronze—Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer

New Glarus Brewing Co., Wisconsin
Blacktop IPA, Gold—American-Style Black Ale

New Glarus Brewing Co., Wisconsin
Raspberry Tart, Gold—Fruit Beer

Capital Brewery Co., Wisconsin
Autumnal Fire, Gold—German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock

Capital Brewery Co., Wisconsin
Eisphyre, Bronze—German-Style Doppelbock or Eisbock

Lakefront Brewery, Wisconsin
New Grist, Silver—Gluten-Free Beer

Vintage Brewing Co., Wisconsin
Wee Heavy, Silver—Scotch Ale

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